Smarter Than You

Leaders are not leaders because they are the smartest people on the block. Leadership is an enabling function, not a mark of intelligence. The smartest leaders are ones that realize and acknowledge they are not the smartest.

Without humility leaders can never truly influence. Influence is short-lived when leaders live under the delusion of being the smartest. As leader, your responsibility is to facilitate realizing vision and not be the smartest. A paradox.

smarter than you
the smartest leaders are not intimidated by those smarter than them but engage them to better the pursuit of their cause || image by stevendepolo | cc

Some people become leaders because they choose to rise up to make a difference. These are heretics that are uncomfortable with the status quo. They see change as a necessity and not an option.

Others become leaders simply because they just happened to be there when a leader was needed and there was no one else. Regardless of how you became a leader, you are a leader.

One of the things that cause leaders to feel inadequate is when opportunities arise to lead smarter people than themselves. Heretic leaders understand that their primary function is not to be necessarily the smartest, but to lead.

It is wise for leaders to school up and always sharpen themselves but they will always meet people than are better than them in some areas.

You can lead people smarter than you. In fact you become smart by engaging them as contributors to your cause. Don’t be intimidated by them; treat them as equals. Giving them space to contribute to your cause communicates security in who you are and your leadership. In fact you and your cause will ultimately benefit.

When you have people smarter than you following, listen to them. Where their ability is greater than yours trust them.

(I’m not suggesting that you stop taking into account the impact of some of their guidance). The leader’s responsibility is to be a guardian of the vision. When they knowledge or skill is falls short of what is needed the vision is at risk. Bringing on board others stronger than them in order protect the cause is commendable. In fact, it is wise. Be bold. Be /ˈherətik/.

Your thoughts?   


Published by Blessing Mpofu

just a guy changing the world

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  1. how do u avoid a situation where ur followers don’t disrespect u bcoz of not being as smart as them?

    1. great question! this also depends on the context. giving and showing them respect is one way of earning their respect. however, acknowledge that though they may be knowledgeable in some aspect than you that the goals are more important. shift their focus from what they know or what you may not know to what they need to be using what they know for. leading with integrity and being one with your words is another way to gain respect from them. ensure that your character is credible. show genuine care for those you lead and a focus for what needs to be achieved. hope this helps… let me know if you need us to write something along the lines for you ;-)